Essay about John Keats's Ode to Indolence

Decent Essays

John Keats has many memorable and distinct poems. He is well known for his ability to write and adored by many. Ode on Indolence is a poem that can be relatable to its readers due to its idea of how indolence interferes with life’s opportunities, in particular the three mentioned in the poem, love, ambition and poesy. Keats refers to these three figures as “ghosts” (51) therefore insinuating that they once lived, but now they are mere figments of energy and air. Keats’ poem six stanzas of ten lines each in iambic pentameter, he begins his poem with a passage from Matthew 6:28, “They toil not, neither do they spin”, he uses this as reference for describing the three figures of the poem. In other, simpler words, he is saying that the …show more content…

Keats identifies the three shadows in the third stanza labeling them as love, who was a maid, ambition, pale and watchful and the last of the three shadows being poesy, which the speaker identifies as his demon as well as his love. He also identifies them as maidens, each mild in their own way. Halfway through the poem, the readers are shown three things that the speaker considers to be his maidens. He shows his love individually for each of them as well as his dislike that they are there to take away his peaceful summer, a metaphor that represents that warm weather is about to disappear, or that a vacation is coming to an end.
The fourth stanza represents the speaker’s sudden will for the maidens, as they were all he wanted, until he decides on reasons as to why he may not need them. This only happens after the speaker addresses that “they faded, and, forsooth, I wanted wings!” (31) He gives reason for love and ambition to be given up on but cannot find a reason for poesy, as it is his favorite of the three. In the fifth stanza the speaker understands that the figures have no influence on him and indolence is simply the way to keep, he refers to them and says “Oh shadows, ‘twas a time to bid farewell! / Upon your skirts had fallen no tears of mine” (49-50). In the final

Get Access